I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A romance develops as a detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder mystery.
Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. When Amelie plays matchmaker with two anonymous lonely hearts, she also decides to secretly observe the couple’s blind date. To her surprise, the man who appears for the rendezvous is Harold Radcliffe—a grieving widower and a member of Amelie’s book club.
Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and brother-in-law died in the line of fire. Because he knows the dangers of his job, he has vowed never to marry and subject a wife and family to the uncertainty of his profession. But when he meets Miss Hampton, he is captured by her innocence, beauty, and her quick mind.
When a woman’s body is pulled from the river, Michael suspects the woman’s husband—Harold Radcliffe—of foul play. Amelie refuses to believe that Harold is capable of such violence but agrees to help, imagining it will be like one of her favorite mystery novels. Her social connections and clever observations prove an asset to the case, and Amelie is determined to prove Mr. Radcliffe’s innocence. But the more time Amelie and Michael spend together, the more they trust each other, and the more they realize they are a good team, maybe the perfect match.
They also realize that Mr. Radcliffe is hiding more than one secret, and when his attention turns toward Amelie, Michael knows he must put an end to this case before the woman he loves comes to harm.
A Sherlock Holmes whodunnit set in 1880’s London is not my regular genre, but I loved this new titleby Nancy Cambell Allen. This is my favorite of hers so far! Amelie is a woman of independent means living in her family’s boarding house with her cousins. They work for a newspaper advice column and attend society’s events including the local cheery book club. There they encounter Mr. Radcliffe, who by all means seems like the perfect catch. Well read, intelligent and a fan of poetry, he dazzles especially Amelie. Things turn complicated when she is run to ground one evening by the local detective, Michael Baker. The two have a crime to solve!
A captivating plot with clue-like twists, even when the villain becomes obvious, you must read on to see how everything unfolds. There are swoon worthy moments! I only wish we saw more of the relationship building before the kiss, and that the ending wasn’t rushed. I must say, this was such a fun and engaging read with two vivid main male characters. Pick it up if you like murder mysteries with historic elements!
Content and trigger warnings: graphic violent scene, blood, kissing, home intrusion and violence against women.
About the Author
Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of fifteen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.